the saturday soup January 8, 2011

I make soup…a lot. Often. Weekly at the very least. To me, the process of making soup is really therapeutic. Nostalgic – my mother always made incredible soups. The emotionally connected cooking of soup balanced with the random-to-haphazard-ness of throwing stuff in a pot & making it work is usually seen, by those who know me, as a sign of how I’m feeling. When soup is on the stove, I’m either in the groove of cooking & creating…or I’m in need of comfort – feeling some sort of way, as my friend Shameeka would say.

Even before the official dietary change, so many meatless soups have been cooked in my kitchen. Purees of green things. Pots of broth with lemongrass and noodles in them. Chunky bean soups and veggie chilis. So, in an effort to share those recipes with you, I’ve finally done what I’ve been saying I wanted to do for over a year. I’ve started The Saturday Soup. Every weekend, I’ll be posting a new soup recipe here on RWT. Make them that day, save them for some healthy Sunday night cooking or make a batch for an easy start of the week meal. There’s a good chance these recipes will come with their own story, too.

This soup was inspired by my recent foray into vegetarianism and the fact that Middle Eastern food has quickly become a staple of mine – it’s seriously veggie friendly. The herby salads, the great textures, the wonderful combination of tart & garlicky. It’s been a bit inspirational. It’s also been a great way to eat grains that are higher in protein & fiber than your average white rice. Honestly, I accidentally thought this soup up as a way to use up the last bit of bulgur left in a tin in the cabinet. This soup is light, good for you and so flavorful – a perfect resolution soup. Make this soup on purpose.

Tabbouleh Soup – serves 4

  • 28 ounces good quality vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + extra for drizzle before serving
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 large green onions, green & white parts chopped
  • 1 large tomato, de-seeded and diced
  • juice of 2 large lemons – *This is all dependent on the size of your lemons. If the lemons you have are large, maybe add the juice in gradually to taste
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley, halved into two portions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup bulgur

– For the bulgur: In a large bowl, combine 1 cup dried bulgur with enough (very) hot water to cover (about 2 cups). Allow to sit until tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Drain through a fine mesh strainer, cover and set aside.

– For the soup: In a medium stockpot, heat up olive oil. Add garlic and green onions and saute for 1 to 2 minutes – don’t let the garlic brown. Add vegetable stock, mint, half of the chopped parsley, and lemon juice. Simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt & pepper to your liking – this may require a good bit of salt depending on the vegetable stock you’re using. Stir in diced tomatoes and allow to cook for another minute or two.

– To serve: Place a large spoonful of the bulgur in the bottom of an empty soup bowl. Ladle the warm broth over the grains. Sprinkle the soup with the remainder of the fresh chopped parsley & drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil for garnish. Serve immediately.


Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen Jan 8, 2011 07:01 am

I’m a big soup person too. I love coming up with new variations based on the season and what veggies I have lying around. I like your idea here of turning a traditional salad into a soup. What a great concept, like a little bit of summertime in the winter!

Dom Celentano Jan 8, 2011 11:01 am

Cooking whether it is soup or some other form is very therapeutic. For those of us who deal primarily in writing or teaching, it is a great way to unwind and use some other part of the braing… the foodie part :)

All the best!

Elana Jan 8, 2011 12:01 pm

Saturday soups are exactly what I need this winter – great idea!

Prerna@IndianSimmer Jan 8, 2011 01:01 pm

Looks great and perfect for a cold winter morning!

Angharad Jan 8, 2011 05:01 pm

I love this idea and I adore the look of this soup! Middle Eastern food is so flavourful and wonderful – I wish more vegetarians knew to look to cuisines like that for inspiration!
Looking forward to following the saturday soups (just realized that this might be first ever comment too – hi!)

Nicole @cookingafterfive Jan 8, 2011 06:01 pm

I love soup, especially this time of year. This looks fresh and satisfying… I’m sure I’ll be trying it soon!

Chris Jan 8, 2011 07:01 pm

This soup is the epitome of of comfort! Perfect for the upcoming snow. :) (And National Soup Month this month.) Can we have this on our next girls night in dinner?

Rachelino Jan 8, 2011 10:01 pm

I love this new series, Tami. I get the same satifaction and comfort form soup too, but sometimes I get in a soup rut, so I welcome something I never would have thought of (like this awesome tabbouleh soup-ified).
Also, this is a great way to use up flat-leap parsley. I often find myself only using 1/4 chopped in a recipe then let the rest wilt or use it for veggie stock (confession!).

Lee Rosenthal Jan 9, 2011 12:01 pm

That looks great. I might make this soon. I’d say today but I’m scared to go to the grocery store with this snow that we’re supposed to get.

Amelia from Z Tasty Life Jan 9, 2011 08:01 pm

Saturdays are the day for slow cooking.
I love the idea of a weekly post… and soup is for every season. I also love cold summer soups, like gazpacho. Personally, I am big fan of lentils, as far as soups go, oh, and roasted winter vegetables. Tomorrow I had in plan to make a roasted cawliflower soup…
I have JUST some bulgur (rarely know how to use it…) and will consider adding some to one of my soups in the future.

Jennifer (Delicieux) Jan 10, 2011 06:01 pm

I’m a huge soup person too and cook soups constantly throughout winter. I really love the idea of this soup. It looks fantastic and I love tabbouleh.

I’m vegetarian too and find middle eastern food fantastic too. It’s so delicious, fresh and healthy.

Beautiful photos.

Pam Jan 11, 2011 11:01 pm

Oh my…sounds heavenly. I am a huge taboulleh (any Middle Eastern Foods) fan. This will be made and made promptly! Beautiful photo.

Soup On!

tami Jan 14, 2011 02:01 pm

Thanks, Pam! Do let me know what you think if you give it a go :)

[…] never hurt anyone, right? I’ll be posting food again on Saturday with this week’s Saturday Soup. In the meantime, here’s whats been helping the […]

Mairi @ Toast Jan 13, 2011 07:01 pm

I love soup & always looking for new ones, love bulgher wheat so looking forward to giving this one a go. So many fresh flavours it could even work for me now…unlike you not snowed in but bright & sunny here in NZ.

tami Jan 14, 2011 02:01 pm

This soup was really wonderful – definitely a ray of sunshine and light. Do let me know if you end up trying it. ps. jealous of your NZ weather! :)

Tabbouleh soup « got no milk Jan 26, 2011 08:01 pm

[…] just loved the idea of this soup, but we both found it to be a bit too tangy. Perhaps the size of the lemons? Maybe only one lemon […]

Trudy ~ veggie num num Feb 1, 2011 06:02 pm

This is genius! I’m officially in love with your blog.. so many beautiful & beautifully photographed recipes!! Such lovely fresh ingredients here.. yum!!

m May 4, 2011 09:05 pm

made this tonight and it was delicious! i added a little crushed red pepper to heat it up. and i only had 1 lemon so i added some zest. thanks for the recipe!

[…] miss cooking. The quiet times I can putter around the kitchen and throw something together. I miss The Saturday Soup. I’m so busy professionally – and that’s a really wonderful problem to have, I […]

Adiana Jun 22, 2011 09:06 pm

Shoot, who would have touhhgt that it was that easy?

Anya @ SAS-does Jan 10, 2012 10:01 pm

Made it tonight and it was very good: light but quite flavourful. I let tomatoes “marinate” a little bit in olive oil, garlic, parsley and salt before adding into the soup.

Thank you for the recipe!

Beth Hargett May 28, 2013 04:05 am

This sounds delicious. I am going to try it this week. We are going vegetarian too and soups like this will help us stick to that! Thanks for sharing!